Raising kids is a full-time job. Often there are tears (both yours and your children’s). It’s expensive, stressful and sometimes thankless. But it’s also the most rewarding and important job in the world.
And also one of the most difficult. Let’s get through this together!
I have a friend whose child has been making poor decisions. The child is being influenced by others–others who don’t necessarily have her best interests at heart. And also others who probably don’t have the best role models at home.
The friend has been struggling with how to help her daughter walk away from the negative influences. I think this is a common challenge as kids grow up. They gain more independence from us, the parents, and have to make decisions on their own about who they’re going to spend time with and what they’re going to do when they’re not around us.
With four kids, I feel like I have a lot of experience in this arena. I’m by no means an expert, however I’ve watched all my children go through this in one way or another–and I know this will continue well into their adulthood.
Raising kids with values goes back to confidence. When kids have confidence, they’re more grounded instead of following the group. They also have a good moral compass with which to make decisions.
Of course, our children are always watching us–whether we realize it or not, whether we want them to or not. How parents behave has a huge impact on our kids and what they believe in as they grow up.
Your work ethic, for example. Are you working hard in everything you do? Do you persevere through problems, or do you give up? Do you find solutions when you encounter a challenge, or do you find shortcuts? Do you believe you’re owed something, or that you need to work hard to get it?
And even more importantly, how do you express your work ethic aloud in front of your kids?
Giving your kids ownership of a chore can help them develop a strong work ethic. It helps them avoid becoming entitled because they have to work toward something they want. When they have skin in the game, they’ll work harder and be able to contribute more.
It’s easy to spoil kids. Heck, I know I’m guilty of it. I don’t want my kids to want for anything. But while they may be a little spoiled, they’re by no means entitled because they see how hard Jeff and I work every day. They see how we don’t give up. And we make them contribute around the house regularly so they can learn that rewards come from hard work.
This instills confidence, which helps them navigate all the difficult parts of life–including walking away from bad influences.